There are many types of heating systems that can be installed in a modern home. Whether you're buying an existing or new construction home or replacing your home's existing heating system, it's important to know how the various types of heating systems work.
Furnaces are a very popular form of home heating. This forced air distribution system relies on ductwork and a blower to distribute warm air throughout the home. Furnaces can be powered by gas, oil or electricity.
Because furnaces are so popular, it's easy to find an HVAC professional when the time comes to get a tune up, repair, or a furnace replacement. These traditional HVAC systems need periodic maintenance, including occasional duct-sealing and duct-cleaning services. Homeowners with a furnace may need to replace their air filter every few months to help keep the air in the home clean.
Heat pumps are a heating and cooling system rolled into one. In the summer, the heat pump removes warm air from the home and pushes it outside. In the winter, the heat pump draws warm air into the home and releases the cold air outside.
Some heat pump systems are hybrid systems that rely on back up heat sources when it gets very cold outside. If the heat pump system ever breaks down, the back up heat source can continue to heat the house while the homeowner is waiting for repair.
Heat pumps are said to be very efficient, and are often considered a very green product. Heat pumps can be integrated into the home's existing duct system, so a homeowner with a furnace may be able to convert to a heat pump without too much fuss.
A ductless mini-split system is usually a heat pump that can operate without ducts. The system consists of an indoor and outdoor unit. Whole-house systems usually have several indoor units, with each unit creating an HVAC zone. Different zones can be controlled at different temperatures. Ductless mini-split systems are often used in homes where ducts have never been installed.
Radiant heating systems use hot water or electricity to heat tubes in the floor, ceiling, or walls. These systems can use a variety of fuel sources, including gas and electricity. Radiant heating creates even indoor temperature and a pleasant warmth in the floor that many homeowners like. However, these systems can be expensive to repair when something goes wrong. At the moment, radiant heating is sometimes used in bathrooms but may not be found throughout the rest of the house.
Pellet stoves are very efficient. Modern pellet stoves look like wood-burning stoves, but operate more like a furnace. People who appreciate pellet stoves often enjoy the energy savings from using an extremely efficient green form of heating. They also appreciate the appearance of the pellet stove, which can make the room look cozy and warm.
Pellet stoves have the disadvantage of being relatively uncommon, especially in certain parts of the country, so that home buyers might be intimidated by pellet stoves. Finding a technician who is capable of fixing a pellet stove might be a challenge.
A boiler is basically a water heater operated with natural gas. The boiler sends hot water or steam through the pipes of the home to heat elements in each room. Boilers can be used to create heating zones, similar to the ductless mini-split system. These systems can be expensive to maintain, but also create extra comfort by giving people a lot of control over the temperature of different areas of the house.
Work With a Heating Contractor
If you're an East Nashville homeowner who is building a home or replacing your home's existing heating system, work with a licensed contractor in your area to install the right heating for your house. The type of heating you choose will have an influence on your home's property value, so be sure to work with a professional who has good references and a good reputation in your community.
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